NAIROBI, Kenya, March 3 – About 366,000 candidates who took the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations did not attain the minimum university entry grade of C+ and above.
Speaking during the release of the results on Thursday morning, education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i pointed out that this represents 70 percent of the over half a million candidates who did the examinations.
While stating that investigations will be undertaken to determine the root cause of this, he indicated that the poor performance may be as result of absenteeism of teachers and the availability of learning material in schools.
“Whereas this is an improvement on the 2014’s 30.78 percent, we could still do better. And of course this data begs several questions which we need to answer correctly. Has it got to do with our curriculum, because if you look at that performance and only one third of those attain university qualifications, that is a minimum of a C+, then there are issues that we need to address,” he said.
He further stated that the teachers’ strike last year may have had an impact in low performance among students.
“Has it got to do with the learning, whether or not it is actually happening in our schools. I have addressed the issue of teacher absenteeism before,” he said.
“I have experienced it in schools that I have visited recently, I have been to schools where you find up to three to four teachers are not in class at any one given time and they are teaching critical subjects like biology, chemistry and physics like I found in Njoro Boys the other day.”
The Education CS stated that the ministry has set up a taskforce to start reviewing the distribution of learning materials in schools since Sh9 billion has been used to purchase books and learning material.
“I have also raised the question of availability of materials, textbooks. In the last three years alone, we have spent at least Sh9 billion in the purchase and distribution of learning material especially text books. How is it then that we have not achieved a 1:1 ratio of book to pupil in secondary schools in Kenya. How can we explain this?” he posed.
“Definitely there is an issue that we need to fix here and I want to confirm to you that as a ministry we are going to fix this and we have commenced a system of reviewing our distribution of learning materials especially textbooks.”
During the release, the Education CS pointed out that more than 5,000 candidates will not get their results as a result of cheating.
Matiang’i said he will hold a meeting with his Interior Ministry counterpart Joseph Nkaissery and other stakeholders to find a lasting solution as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Given the high number of cheating cases, Matiang’i said they will therefore not cancel entire school results.